Food and Money

Nothing quite brings these two topics closer together than going out to eat. If you’re familiar with me and my writing I like cheap food. And more than that, I just like being cheap period. I highly dislike spending money for no reason at all; and for me “fancy food” gets really darn close to “no reason at all.”

As a picky eater, I like burgers and fries and sugar free Jell-O. I’m exceedingly easy to please for six bucks. In fact, the fancier (and by that I mean “weirder”) the food gets, the less I like it. Ironically, this is the food that also costs the most, so for me it’s a no brainer: a cheapskate isn’t going to spend more money on something he actually highly dislikes. I can see if you really, really liked that stuff, then you could easily justify spending more for the gastronomic experience. For me it’s like someone saying, “Here, I’m going to stick you with this pin. Oh, and by the way, you owe me a hundred bucks for the service.”

Plus, the practical person in me knows that my tummy doesn’t realize how much the food costs. If I spend $5 for a meal or $50, I’m not actually buying (or eating) ten times more food. An hour or two later, I’m still going to be hungry again and have my fist in a bag of sour cream and cheddar Ruffles. Except I know I’ll be out an extra $45 which will certainly drive this miser to several additional and wholly unnecessary handfuls of chips.

The moral of the story? Take me to Long John Silver’s for some chicken planks, of course. I thought it was obvious…

12 Responses to “Food and Money”

JohnGL said
May 29, 2009 at 7:57 am

I’ve found I really like impressionist paintings (not to eat), especially certain works of Monet and Renoir. I have spent thousands of dollars in travel and lodging expenses just to see their work. Once you leave the gallery, all you have is a memory.

I could look the works up on the internet, check it out in an Art book, or even buy posters of particular works. However, it just isn’t the same as actually seeing the real deal. In fact, there is really no comparison. But I can’t afford to buy Renoir’s Onions.

Food can be Art. It can stimulate all five senses. It can evoke emotion.

It can make you cry when you see the check.

linteater said
May 29, 2009 at 8:39 am

What I find annoying is that buying fresh veggies and fruit is more expensive than buying myself some instant pizza.

I used to prefer instant pizzas to fruits and veggies. But then I stopped eating pizza and started eating fruit and veggies, and after a few months I found I didn’t crave instant pizza anymore.

Then one day, I ate an instant pizza and realized that I didn’t like it anymore.

It made me feel blechy.

So you could train yourself to like expensive foods. But the questions is…would you want to?

Biz said
May 29, 2009 at 10:44 am

Ha – loved John’s comment!

I don’t know how we are related Charlie! I love to go out to eat – I believe the most expensive mean Tony and I had was at a place called Marche in Chicago.

We went with another couple, had a couple drinks each with dinner (no bottles of wine), each had an appetizer and entree.

The bill without tip? $400!

I believe you would pass out if you got a bill like that! 😀

Happy Friday Chowlee!

Quix said
May 29, 2009 at 10:58 am

I love going to a place where things are all fancy and the servers aren’t popping gum while they take your order and there are linen napkins and candlelight and all that crap – on top of really yummy food that’s pretty. But I get huge shell shock when the bill comes, so it’s usually not worth it to me. I make the exception to go out and get a really nice steak about once a year, and maybe once every few months I’ll splurge on a dinner that’s about 15-20 bucks a head. Most of the time though – take me to the salad bar or a sammich shop if I’m not eating at home.

Kelly said
May 29, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I’ve never had a $50 meal, so I can’t really say. I love burgers and fries, onion rings…I’d better stop, I feel a craving coming on!

MarkL said
May 29, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Agreed. It bugs me to go out and spend a fortune for the same amount of food I can get much cheaper. I just don’t get it. I also don’t have the money to go out and do it so maybe that’s the key…

Sheri said
May 29, 2009 at 12:44 pm

The only thing is, and I know from my own experience, because I can much the same with food and money, is this way of life can fall in line with “penny wise and dollar foolish” because the food options chosen are against what is healthy for the body. Although money has been saved with burger and fries, down the road those cost saving measures come out in medical costs for all those nasty health things like heart, diabetes, cholesterol…. You get the idea. So, when considering the food options, cheap is best, but healthy may be better. However, don’t look at me to be a great example of this quality!

Tuscanystone said
May 29, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I must be your polar opposite! I can’t stand cheap restaurants – burgers & fries especially! YUK!!

Give me good food, good wine, good company and hours of time and I’m at my happiest 🙂

Tusc 🙂

JohnGL said
May 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm


You made my day 🙂

bobbie said
May 30, 2009 at 6:54 am

I’d like to add my frustration with linteater. I hate the fact that “healthy food” costs so much. It’s cheaper to buy hostess cupcakes than a bunch of grapes. I actually like hostess cupcakes better than grapes, but that’s besides the point…. trying to eat healthy [like fresh fruits and veggies- and not growing them]on a tight budget is very hard.

Dani said
May 30, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Cheap food ftw. I miss being a “diners and dives” kind of girl. This healthy lifestyle thing is slowly sucking the life out of me. =P

Your prettier sister said
May 31, 2009 at 5:26 pm

a). I wish I had your frugalness, as I can justify spending money on just about everything!

b). If I go to a restaurant I usually order the same thing because I hate ordering something and paying for something that’s gross!

c). I’d go to LJS too!!